Google Stadia: why is it shutting down? How to get a refund for gaming streaming service, what Google has said

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Ever since it launched in November 2019, Google Stadia has been plagued by rumours that it would close

Google’s cloud gaming service Google Stadia has officially shut down. There had been rumours about the streaming service’s demise ever since its creation, with the company reassuring users the platform would not be closing as recently as July 2022.

However, in a blog post in September Google explained the service “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected” and that Stadia would be winding down.

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In a post on Twitter just before the platform closed before midnight on 18 January, Google thanked “players and partners, our team, community and fans: thank you, for everything.”

So why did Google Stadia shut down and how can customers get a refund? Here’s everything you need to know.

What was Google Stadia?

Stadia was Google’s cloud gaming service that allowed users to stream video games directly, without having to purchase the physical games. Games available included Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Attack on Titan, Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy.

Google Stadia launched to much fanfare in November 2019 (Pic: Getty Images)Google Stadia launched to much fanfare in November 2019 (Pic: Getty Images)
Google Stadia launched to much fanfare in November 2019 (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Players did not need to have a console, but Google did release a dedicated Stadia one.

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Why did Google shut down Google Stadia?

Google confirmed that it will be closing its cloud gaming service Stadia in a blog post in September.

Vice President and General Manager of Google Stadia, Phil Harrison revealed the service “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected”. He continued: “we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”

Harrison added: “We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia Store.”

There have been questions about Stadia’s future ever since the platform was created in November 2019.

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Back in July 2022 it responded to rumours that it was closing on Twitter, telling users: “Stadia is not shutting down. Rest assured we’re always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro. Let us know if you have other questions.”

When did Google Stadia close?

Google Stadia officially closed on 18 January 2023, with players being able to access their game library and play up until that date. However, now the platform has closed, the game libraries of players will cease to exist, causing concern amongst players who have bought games to stream through the service.

Another blow for players is that they likely not be able to transfer their game progress, Google Stadia have said: “While that may be possible for some games that support cross-progression play on other platforms, unfortunately, for the majority of games, that won’t be possible.”

How can you get a refund?

Google have confirmed that they are offering refunds to players for all Stadia hardware purchases including: Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages, however, Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for a refund.

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They have estimated that refunds will be made available to customers by the middle of January 2023.

In the blog post, Google said: “Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023. We have more details for players on this process on our Help Center.”

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